Ninth Annual
Jim Campbell Hammer-In

Alchemist Picnic IV:
A Mid-Atlantic Metals Retreat

Friday through Sunday, June 2–4, 2017

By combining the Alchemist Picnic IV and the Ninth annual J. Campbell Hammer-In Touchstone Center for Crafts has created a gathering opportunity for blacksmiths, metalsmiths and jewelers from the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.  

Alchemist Picnic is hosted by Wayne Werner, renowned for his metalsmithing expertise, jewelry design, musical talent , and ebullient personality.  He is the perfect emcee for this lively event and Touchstone is the ideal setting with its beautiful woodland campus and well-equipped metals studios.  As Pennsylvania's only residential craft school, Touchstone's convenient geography makes it the ideal mid-Atlantic platform for the Alchemist Picnic to take flight.  

In a weekend of all metals related demonstrations, the Ninth Annual Jim Campbell Hammer In is being held in conjunction with Alchemist Picnic.   The forge will be on fire as our demonstrators offer new twists on traditional and contemporary blacksmithing techniques. 

Registration includes access to any demonstration or event taking place on campus.  Meals and lodging may be purchased separately.


See below for event pricing. Click the register now button above to register online or call the office at 724-329-1370 to register today! 

Event Schedule

Note: Demonstrations will be held in the Hart Moore Blacksmithing Studio, Metals Studio, and in the great room of Blaney Lodge. All meals will be served at Touchstone's Dining Hall.

Friday, June 2, 2017

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Check-In at Blaney Lodge

5:30 p.m.: Dinner


7:00 p.m. - 9:00 pm: Caitlin Morris

8:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.: Laurie Brown

Hammer-In & Alchemist Picnic

9:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.: Open Forge 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

8:00 a.m.: Breakfast 


9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Jerry Veneziano 

Alchemist Picnic

9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.: Helen Driggs

12:00 p.m.: Lunch 


1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.: Bob Rupert

Alchemist Picnic

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Rebecca Strzelec

5:30 p.m.: Dinner

Hammer-In & Alchemist Picnic

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.: Eric Burris

9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.: Bonfire at Fire Circle or Lodge Hearth (weather dependent)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.: Continental Breakfast & Checkout  

Weekend Session Pricing

(per person rate)

Admission Fees:

$75 Member

$85 Non-Member

$75 Saturday Only Fee (includes lunch and dinner)

$55 Meal Package*

Lodging Options**:

$80 Shared Dorm

$40 Shared Cabin

$10 Camping

* Full meal packages include the following: Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner; Sunday continental breakfast. Special dietary needs must be given at the time of registration. Individual meals are not available for purchase.

 ** All inclusive lodging includes Friday and Saturday evening accommodations. Campers must bring own tent, bedding, towels, toiletries, etc. and will have access to the bathhouse. All cabin/dorm lodging is based on a shared option and does not include bedding, towels, toiletries, etc. Attendees may request to share a room/cabin with a specified attendee. Requests should be given in advance with the understanding that not all requests are guaranteed to be fulfilled.

Meet the Presenters:

Eric Burris


The Art of Mokume Gane and Crafting a Creative Life

Eric has been working with the Mokume Gane technique for nearly 15 years.  Drawn to the material for its organic wood grain patterns and technical link to blacksmithing, it’s the primary metal in his jewelry and the focus of his teaching.  In 2014 he started Mokume Gane Workshops and launched a website of the same name with the goal of becoming a primary source for Mokume Gane education.  His goal is teaching jewelers and metalsmiths a low tech, low cost, and efficient method to making traditional fusion bonded Mokume Gane. Eric will discuss this method of making small scale mokume and demonstrate a preferred patterning technique, drilling and flex-shaft carving.  After the presentation Eric will demonstrate his torch fueled mini refractory brick furnace and fire a sterling silver and copper billet. 

Eric Burris is a metalsmith and educator focusing on Mokume Gane.  He earned a BFA from  Kansas State University, studying under Elliott Pujol and an MFA from Arizona State University, under David Pimentel.  His work combines the patterned sheet metal with found wood, natural hardwood, and occasionally paper maps.  Most pieces are made with a certain amount of improvisation but mostly influenced by what he sees in his immediate surroundings; the relationship between nature and architecture and how it changes from place to place.  His teaching experience started in graduate school and extended as an adjunct instructor at Arizona State University, Rowan University, and Montgomery College.  His workshops have taken him to Metalwerx, Snow Farm, Silvera Jewelry School, Denver School of Metal Arts, Lillstreet Art Center, and Flux Metal Arts. Currently he teaches jewelry classes at Delaplaine Art Center and lives in Silver Spring, MD with his printmaker partner, Gretchen and adventure dog, Carmela.

Jerry Veneziano


Demonstration by Jerry

Jerry's demonstration info to come soon!

Jerry Veneziano has been a blacksmith for nearly a quarter of a century. He began his career doing historic reproductions as one of the smiths at Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg, VA. Today, he produces contemporary and sculptural ironwork that has been featured in galleries and museums along the East Coast. He's demonstrated and taught numerous classes for schools and blacksmithing associations throughout the Mid-Atlantic, and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Banton-Smith Center for Blacksmith and Metal Arts in Richmond, VA. Jerry is the former President of the Central Virginia Blacksmith Guild. 

Rebecca Strzelec


Art + Engineering = Creative Problem Solving

Rebecca Strzelec has been using 3D printing technologies in her work since 1999. These processes have matured quickly resulting in greater accessibility and attention bringing about significant and meaningful advances in many fields including healthcare, safety, architecture, and art and design. It has also raised questions of ownership, ethics, and responsibility. This talk looks at 3D printing’s trajectory as well as introduces the work Strzelec completed on a 4-year 2 million-dollar NSF grant focused on origami and smart materials.

Rebecca Strzelec is a Professor of Visual Arts and Program Coordinator of Visual Art Studies at Penn State University, Altoona College, earned her BFA 2000 and MFA 2002 from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM. Her work consists of wearable objects which are created via computer aided design, three-dimensional modeling, and 3D printing. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, Fuller Craft Museum, Racine Art Museum and the private collection of Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Strzelec’s work has been featured in many exhibitions in prominent contemporary craft galleries in the US and abroad. Strzelec is a Penn State Alumni Teaching Fellow and the 2016-2017 Penn State Laureate. Strzelec served as Chair of the SIGGRAPH 2012 conference, an annual event that brought over 21,000 people connected to computer graphics and interactive techniques to Los Angeles. Strzelec lives in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania (home of the Slinky) with her husband, and two small children.

Bob Rupert 


Bob's demonstration info to come soon!

Bob Rupert, who has been making knives since 1980, is the owner of Iron Hill Forge and has taught at Touchstone Center for Crafts since 2004. Bob first experienced metalworking with his father; those early years were filled with opportunity and time to explore. Five decades have passed, and the fascination of shaping glowing, hot steel has not changed. Now, with 40 plus years of metalworking experience, Bob seeks to share his passion in hopes that others might enjoy the simplicity of tradition, taking time to explore the texture and beauty of forged iron. Bob has led ABANA seminars at Kent State University and was twice featured as the centerfold subject in Knives. His work is prominently featured in Ironwork Today 2, a recent release from Schiffer Books.

Helen Driggs


Magazine Publishing Opportunities for Metalsmiths

Helen's demonstration is about how self-promotion is critical for any artist at any level. It’s important to have and maintain the “Holy Trinity” of social media, and use these tools at least a few times per week to build an audience, promote your work, and keep the world updated and interested in you. It’s good to teach, get published, and have a following, so Helen will give you some tips for what to reveal, how to sell yourself, and how to spend the minimum time for the maximum return when it comes to selling yourself, instead of just selling your jewelry.

Helen Driggs is formally educated as an illustrator and hold a BFA from Moore College of Art and Design. She studied at University of the Arts, Tyler School of Art, Peters Valley School of Craft, MetalWerx and in private workshops with talented studio jewelers and academic instructors of jewelry and metals across the country. As well as completed a 10-day apprenticeship with her awesome friend Michael Boyd in 2010.

Caitlin Morris

         Creative Caffeine: Put Legs on Things

Be sure to stop by the blacksmith shop for this interactive demonstration!  Caitlin will be exploring how metal moves under the guise of making a whimsical box with legs.  Whether you're an experienced smith or have never picked up a hammer, there's something here for you! 

Caitlin Morris hangs out with the misfits and scallywags. She sings loudly and out of tune. She is partial to walks in the rain. But the most important thing is this: Caitlin loves blacksmithing. The Vermont native runs Ms. Caitlin's School in Maryland, which is dedicated to sharing the craft with as many unsuspecting people as possible. She also teaches at other schools up and down the East Coast. When you first put hammer to hot steel, you want Caitlin there to guide, mentor, and inspire you. She's good at lighting fires. 

Laurie Brown


Scratching the Surface: Engraving Everything from Wedding Bands to the National Museum of African American History and Culture Awards

Laurie will be focusing on reviewing the nature of her background and skill. The highlight of discussion will be a recent project that was a collaboration with an esteemed African Artist. Laurie was commissioned by the Smithsonian's Museum of African Art in September of 2016, to hand engrave 3 brass awards. Featuring world recognized artist, Victor Ekpuk's hand drawn art.  After a process of meeting with the artist, understanding his vision, and then dedicating 3 weeks time to complete this humbling task, she would then engrave upon the awards themselves that are his pieces. Attending the 1st Annual Smithsonian African Art Award Ceremony in Washington DC was the icing on the cake for this tremendous honor.

Laurie Brown is a hand engraver native to Harford County, Maryland. Apprenticed by Master Engraver Allan Binder at Smyth Jewelers and formal training at GRS, Kansas by Christian DeCamillis. She owns her own engraving business, LB Artisan Engraving, established in 2005. Occupying shops at home and also at In House Jewelers in Jacksonville, she enjoys collaborating with fellows in the field of jewelry, gold & silversmithing, and a variety of craftspeople. She offers Laser Engraving by CO2 laser machine. Creating simple jewelry pieces for the sole purpose of giving a blank canvas for hand engraving is also a passion of Laurie's. Even though she was named Master Engraver by her mentor, she believes she will always be a student, eager to learn from the fantastic artists, jewelers and engravers from all over the world, old and new, to broaden her view of what is possible in the word of hand engraving.

Touchstone Center for Crafts
1049 Wharton Furnace Rd.
Farmington, PA 15437
T: 724.329.1370
T: 800.721.0177 
F: 724.329.1371
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